Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., talk to reporters about the farm bill at the U.S. Capitol in June.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP
September 19, 2012 The farm bill is likely to be left on the table when Congress leaves for recess, but don't panic. The nutrition and commodity programs will likely be extended after Election Day at current funding levels for a while, if the last session is any guide.
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Scientist Robert Koch holding a post-mortem on an ox thought to have died of rinderpest, circa 1900.
Reinhold Thiele/Getty Images
September 14, 2012 Enlisting nomadic African herders finally helped the world eliminate the cattle plague rinderpest. But the veterinarians, who had the power to shut the program down, had to be rewarded for success, too.
A shopper surveys the produce at Pacifica Farmers Market in Pacifica, Calif., in 2011.
September 4, 2012 Even though organic food has less pesticide residue, a new review of several recent studies finds scant evidence that it has more nutrients or fewer risky bacteria than conventionally grown food. But researchers note that organic agriculture can bring environmental benefits.
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Grandpa Traub — corn former and millionaire.
August 23, 2012 Taxpayers spend $7 billion a year to subsidize crop insurance. Economists don't like it. Neither do some farmers.
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August 17, 2012 When salesmen can't compete on price, they try to out-nice each other.
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August 16, 2012 Record revenues, rocketing land values and federally subsidized insurance.
Sweet potato evangelist Maria Isabel Andrade from the International Potato Center drives around Mozambique in her orange Toyota Land Cruiser.
August 15, 2012 In Africa, a nutrition success story: Swapping orange sweet potatoes for white ones is improving the health of children by boosting vitamin A levels. Researchers are now trying to duplicate their success with other crops.
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Check out some of the world's most important - and threatened - aquifers. Click to see a high-resolution version of this map.
August 8, 2012 Farmers are emptying some of the world's most important aquifers faster than rainfall can replenish them, which means less water for everyone. This map from the journal Nature shows where irrigation is doing the most damage.
Potatoes come in all colors, like these Red Erik, Snowball, Cariboo, Purple Peruvian, Caribe and French Red varieties.
August 2, 2012 Will tomorrow's U.S. supermarket stock 10 kinds of potatoes? Potato geneticist Chuck Brown hopes so. He's been working to introduce the American market to purple, orange and red potato varieties, and bring back the sizzle potatoes once enjoyed.
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These piglets on the Hardin farm in Danville, Ind., are going to cost more to feed than they will fetch at market.
July 25, 2012 The crops taking the worst hit from the current drought are the ones we feed to animals, like corn. Higher corn prices mean it can cost more to feed pigs and cattle than they will fetch at market, meaning higher meat prices for all.
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June 13, 2012 Midwestern farmers experiencing unusually good yields are OK with losing some farm bill subsidies as Congress negotiates changes this year. But some of their Southern counterparts are arguing against it.
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A tomato expert recommends planting seedlings in rich soil with lots of organic matter and a steady slow-release fertilizer.
June 1, 2012 Scientists still don't know exactly what growing conditions are responsible for the most flavorful tomatoes. But they have a few ideas that are worth keeping in mind as you try to coax sweetness and tartness from your garden seedlings.
May 17, 2012 We may romanticize that strawberries are grown down the road, but most of them come from California. And a complex web of plant cloning practices, relocation and fumigation has cropped up to keep it that way. Although scientists are exploring new options, like soil-free growing.
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Farmers saw the administration's proposal as a threat to their way of life
April 30, 2012 The Obama administration backed off a proposal to restrict kids under 16 from working on farms after a major push by conservatives and farm state Democrats. But farmers themselves weren't too happy about the restrictions, either.
A clampdown on contamination in growing fields has pushed out wildlife and destroyed habitats.
April 23, 2012 After an outbreak of E. coli in spinach killed several people in 2006, farmers clamped down on every possible source of contamination. Those safety efforts have also pushed out wildlife, destroyed sensitive habitats and increased pollution in waterways.
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